Jerusalem teenager killed in motorcycle accident

"He failed [the license test] twice and I was so happy" mother said; safety advocates call to raise requirements for motorcycle licenses.

June 21, 2011 18:31
2 minute read.
Magen David Adom ambulances [file]

Magen David Adom ambulances 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

A 16-year-old from Givat Ze’ev north of Jerusalem was killed in a motorcycle accident early on Tuesday morning, when, without having a license and or a helmet, he borrowed a friend’s motorbike and lost control.

The boy, Lior Navon, was with two other friends leaving a house party in the capital’s Ir Ganim neighborhood around 1:30 a.m. when the owner of the motorcycle went into the house to say good-bye, leaving his keys with the vehicle. Navon got on the motorcycle to take it for a spin, lost control and flipped the bike.

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Magen David Adom paramedics found Navon lying in the road unconscious and immediately began life-saving measures while evacuating him to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem, where he died.

His mother told the Hebrew media that Navon had learned how to ride a motorcycle and had taken the test twice. “He failed twice and I was so happy,” his mother, Eliana, told Ynet.

“I was scared of the motorcycle."

“I don’t know what got into his head,” she added. “It could be that he just wanted to take it for a short ride. In his opinion, he had already learned to ride a motorcycle and that’s where he was mistaken.

Unfortunately, in one moment, without thinking, we lost him. Just like that, in seconds, a whole life was gone.” His mother said that Navon was an avid basketball player and hoped to play with his team in the European championships.

Police detained the owner of the motorcycle, a 17-yearold friend of Navon, and questioned him for a few hours on Tuesday morning.

He was released and an investigation is ongoing, said Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby. Police are also checking to see if any of the teenagers were under the influence of alcohol.

According to the transportation safety advocacy group Or Yarok, motorcycles are responsible for approximately 12 percent of traffic fatalities, despite accounting for just 4% of the vehicles on the road. In 2010, there were 45 motorcycle deaths out of a total of 387 traffic fatalities.

The traffic accident was especially tragic because it involved a teenager’s death on the first day of summer.

Traffic safety advocate Mordechai Feder, the head of Metuna – The Organization For Road Safety, said it was “inappropriate” for teenagers to be driving motorcycles.

“We’re giving totally inexperienced people the vehicle that is the least stable and offers the least protection,” he said.

“We’re giving them to kids, to adolescents who don’t have judgment, when the kids themselves are at the least stable point in their lives.”

Feder called for a change in the requirements for motorcycle licenses, to require anyone wishing to apply for one to have had a car license for at least two years.

Navon’s mother called for the minimum age for motorcycle licenses to be raised from 16 to 18.

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